The Trump Organization, according to The Washington Post, has used undocumented workers through its Mobile Construction Payroll LLC business unit to perform construction work at its winery and East Coast golf resorts for the last 20 years. President Donald Trump maintains ownership of the Trump Organization, although he turned operations over to his two sons while he serves as the U.S. commander in chief.
The workers in question are from Latin American countries, and one told The Post that his supervisor encouraged him to buy fake documents on a street corner. Supervisors also direct the day-to-day activities of the workers, sometimes having them drive hundreds of miles to complete small construction projects and then sleep overnight in buildings on those Trump-owned properties.
The Post spoke to 43 undocumented individuals who have performed service work for the Trump Organization at eight properties over the years, but the company said it now uses the federal E-Verify system to make sure all new hires have the necessary paperwork. The newspaper said that as of July 1, however, Mobile Construction Payroll was not registered with E-Verify.
E-Verify is a system, under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, that allows employers to electronically check their employees' eligibility for jobs through a web-based system administered by the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Regardless of whether the employee's paperwork indicates that he or she is or is not eligible to work in the U.S., the system returns the results within seconds of submission.
Running an employee's documentation through E-Verify is mandatory only for federal agencies, as well as for contractors and subcontractors performing federal work. However, almost half of U.S. states require that employers use the E-Verify system to confirm employee eligibility.
If The Post report is true, the Trump Organization's use of undocumented workers contradicts the president's official stance on illegal immigration, which is one of the drivers behind the construction of a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Securing the money necessary to replace dilapidated sections of barriers and build new stretches of border wall has been a constant struggle for the administration as Congressional Democrats have remained opposed to it and have either turned down or greatly reduced the president's funding requests. Finally, Trump declared a national emergency at the border so that he could tap military funds in order to pay for wall construction without involving Congress.
Activists filed a lawsuit against the administration in an attempt to stop the transfer of funds, and a federal judge halted construction until the issue could be hammered out in court. However, the Supreme Court lifted that stay and said construction could continue while the case is making its way through the legal process.